Saturday, October 1, 2011
A RANDOM BAKE!
The P.R. fairies must know that I need some cheering up, as I recieved a number of exciting packages over that past few weeks - Catherine Fulvio's new book (loving it so far), some yummy Skooby Dooby Doo sweeties (had to fight the kids to get near them!!) and a beautiful baking kit from Avon.
The "Avon Breast Cancer Crusade Baking Set", is part of Avon's fund raising for Breast Cancer charities, it is such a fun way to gather money for a cause that is very dear to my heart, that I am really pleased to encourage you all to participate. The pretty kits are available from Avon representatives or online here. The reason I am so enthusiastic about this crusade is that so many people we know recieve the dreaded diagnosis of cancer, yet so many of them come through to lead full and happy lives - how can we resist putting our hands in our pockets for such a worthy cause. My mother has had two battles with breast cancer, and while it was not an easy time, it is just a memory now - and how much better is it to have memories of a cancer battle rather than memories of a loved one?
When I gathered all of my magazine cuttings and scribbled recipes in order to choose this months Belleau Kitchen Random Recipe Challenge I was feeling all enthusiastic - for once I was guarenteed a recipe that I'd just love - I wouldn't have cut out the recipes otherwise - right????? Well actually I had forgotten that mid diet I often cut out recipes that promise fantastic flavours with hardly any fat/sugar, but which usually are all promise and no delivery! Well, of course it was one of these pages that emerged from my stash - but as you know I am an honest person (!) so that is what I baked. And I have to say "Thanks Dom" because there is no way I would have baked these little cupcakes other than because I was challenged to do so, and they are lovely - moist texture and tasty (although next time I'll add extra cocoa powder).
The light cupcakes were the perfect opportunity to use the sweet little silicone cupcake holders which come in the Avon kit (along with a pink ribbon and a heart shaped cookie cutter), and then it occured to me that I could send off a half batch of the cakes to my friends sister, who is currently undergoing chemo for breast cancer. How perfectly whole and fitting is that? I know that when Mum was going through her treatment she found it very difficult to be enthusiastic about food, but sometimes a little something sweet would be enough to get her through - so I hope that the cupcakes I sent over were of some small help. Vanessa over at Prepped (she has just published a cook book - it's at the top of my wish list, looks fantastic) has decided to continue with her wonderful, heartwarming challenge Random Bakes of Kindness and these little confections are my offering - I hope it's not too cheeky to submit one lot of baking to two challenges!!!!
If you are watching the scales, I would recommend these cupcakes - they aren't huge, but they are full of flavour and I think one (or maybe two!) would be enough to keep you on the straight and narrow!
Raspberry and Chocolate Cupcakes
from a Slimming World recipe
6 tbsp caster sugar
1oz/28g low fat margarine* (I used LowLow)
2oz/57g self raising flour - sifted
1.5 tbsp cocoa powder - sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
32 fresh raspberries **
Preheat oven to 180 C
Prepare 8 cupcake cases
Whisk the eggs, sugar and margarine* until pale and creamy.
Add the vanilla extract.
Fold in the flour and cocoa powder gently.
Place 3 raspberries** in the base of each paper/silicone cupcake holder.
Divide the cake mixture over the raspberries.
Bake 15-20 minutes until firm and springy to the touch.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
* This is the first time that I've used margarine in baking and it was fine - if you don't have any in the house I'm sure butter would work just as well and at only 28g it couldn't do too much harm to the diet!!
** I used frozen raspberries and while the cupcakes were delicious I think they would be even better had I used fresh.